Workshops and Classes

Online Course: Personal Place Mapping!

Ongoing and still available for registration!


Personal Place Mapping is a course that explores memory and personal connection to places. You will learn about maps, create a personal place map, embellish the map (if desired), write based on your map making experience, and have a chance to explore additional information. The course follows the basic structure of Inner Geographies Online Courses (please see the post below for general details about Inner Geographies Online Courses prior to registering.)

Personal Place Mapping Basic Course Structure:

  • Learn includes information regarding what personal place maps are and why they are important, some information about topophilia, general information about map elements, and images of inspiring maps.
  • Create includes instructions for creating a basic personal place map (sketchmap) and additional instructions for creating a more refined or embellished final map. Connect visualization exercises are woven into the first Create exercise.
  • Write includes free writing technique instruction and writing prompts in a variety of writing genres.
  • Explore includes ideas for additional projects, research topics, readings and suggested references.

Other features:

  • Feedback. You also get access to personal feedback from River on both your personal maps and your writing, the opportunity to post your work for other participants to view, or just for River’s comment
  • Community. You also get access to two discussion forums – one on Canvas (the teaching platform) and a secret Facebook group.


You can join the class at any time. The course is self-paced. You can enter the class at any time and follow the schedule (or not) according to your wishes. You can join the class anytime as the materials are self-contained.

Formal Launch. If you wish to join the course launch and follow a more formal schedule, the class will begin on August 12, 2019 and take place for the following 7 weeks. Remember you can join at any time and take the course at any pace.

This course will remain active until August 31, 2020.


Cost: $30 USD

To register, click on this link:

Once payment is received you will be emailed a code to register for the course (usually within one day of receipt of payment). Please make sure your PayPal email is current so the code does not go to a defunct email address. Also note that PayPal still thinks my name is Heidi (I’m working to resolve that but it involves snail mail so it might take a while).

If you encounter difficulties, please email River at


General Information About Inner Geographies Online Classes

What is Inner Geographies? Inner Geographies is a series of activities that use art, science, creative writing, visualization, and personal exploration to connect people to nature, to their inner landscapes, to their personal history, and to each other. Inner Geographies has been taught for over ten years as both community workshops and as for-credit courses at Sonoma State University and California Institute of Integral Studies.

Who is the instructor? River LaMoreaux (formerly known as Heidi), has a PhD in geography which includes coursework in landforms, biogeography, archaeology and geology. River also pulls from seventeen years of experience teaching interdisciplinary courses like Earth Art, Terrain, Caves, Gaia, and Adventures in Nature Journaling as a Professor in The Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University. She has published scientific research, creative writing and artwork. She’s also easygoing, big-hearted, and hilarious.

What types of courses are offered?

Inner Geographies courses are designed to be flexible and emergent. You will be given ideas, prompts and tools but not “have-tos” and “must-be-done-this-ways.” YOU know best how the activity wants to be expressed through you.  River is there for guidance but not as an authority. Also, these classes are NOT about creating a shiny final project. They ARE about a journey of exploration (though cool shiny products do usually result).

These new online Inner Geographies courses consist of small classes which center around one of the following:

  1. A hands-on exercise (ex: Personal Place Mapping, Personal Compass Roses, LifeCores)
  2. A landscape from the Inner Geographies Map (ex: Terra Incognita, Forest of Fears, Bog of Memories) (
  3. A soil-science equation transformed into a metaphor for personal history exploration called CLORPT which explores how you developed into who you are (it is way more exciting than it sounds 😊)

What is included?

The classes are self-paced. Once you get the code to join you will have full access to all the information and activities for at least one year. You do the activities you want, when you want, if you want. You can work solo or share your work with others. Instructor feedback and the opportunity to share and discuss your work with others is included but optional.  The classes are taught using the Canvas platform. River will assist if you get stuck or have questions.

Basic content of each class usually includes:

  1. A visualization exercise (Connect)
  2. Background information about the topic (Learn)
  3. Creative writing prompts (Write)
  4. Artistic/visual hands-on projects complete with instructions (Create)
  5. Ideas for further exploration or outdoor activities (Explore)

Each class also includes instructor support and access to an online community. Specifically:

  1. Instructor support and feedback on your work if desired through the Canvas online platform
  2. A forum for sharing work with others in the class or only with the instructor (and only as you wish)
  3. Discussion forums (participation optional) including Canvas and Facebook forums.

Where can I find a schedule of courses?

Courses will be taught in a rotating schedule. Information regarding pricing, when classes are offered, and how to enroll in specific courses will be announced in two places:

  1. On Facebook on the Inner Geographies Facebook page (
  2. On the Inner Geographies Website under Workshops and Classes (

The first two classes will begin in August 2019. You can also email River for details (

Why should I join Inner Geographies?

Side effects may include:

Joy of creating something amazing. Deeper connections with nature. Increased understanding of earth science. New understanding of the processes and forces that made you who you are. Improved writing skills. Better visualization skills. Vivid memories. Connection to place. Better mapping skills. Realization that art is about more than being able to draw. New friendships in the online community. Finding or strengthening your voice. Following unique avenues for exploration. Discovery of hidden memories and emotions that are asking to be healed (this can be painful and difficult so make sure you’re in a space where you can deal with what rises). Time dedicated to self-care and learning. More time spent outdoors. More time spent in creative pursuits. Deeper understanding of yourself as a spatial being. Ah-ha realizations. Growth. Healing. Learning. Connection. Awareness. Lifelong Learning. Curiosity. Wonder. Trust in yourself as a creative human BEING.


River (formerly Heidi) LaMoreaux, PhD is Professor Emerita of Field-Oriented Physical Geography in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University. Inner Geographies has been taught as a college-level course and in workshops since 2008. River currently teaches Inner Geographies (and Statistics) online for the California Institute of Integral Studies and Sonoma State University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s